Finland’s Social Democrats win parliamentary elections

Finland’s Social Democrats win parliamentary elections

Finland’s Social Democrats win parliamentary elections

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, who as head of state is not involved in government affairs except foreign policy, tweeted on Saturday that he has a "major timing problem" since the vote results clash with a USA-Finland women's ice hockey World Championship final match.

Finland's opposition Social Democratic Party has won the parliamentary elections in the country after 100% of the ballots had been counted, the Finnish Ministry of Justice reported on Monday.

Finland's leftist Social Democrats and the nationalist Finns Party appeared tied to win Sunday's general election, with almost all votes counted, reflecting a mounting sense of insecurity in the Nordic nation over immigration and welfare.

Election returns in Finland indicate the Social Democratic Party was the top vote-getter in the country's parliamentary election, trailed closely by the populist euroskeptic Finns Party.

The Centre Party of outgoing Prime Minister Juha Sipila scored third, with 15.4%.

"I certainly could never have expected a result like this", an elated Halla-aho said.

Mr Halla-aho told Finnish media on Monday he did not want to repeat the mistakes his party made in 2015 when it entered government and was forced to compromise on immigration and European Union bailouts.

Meanwhile Mr Petteri Orpo, leader of the conservative National Coalition Party and co-architect of the government's savings programme, has repeatedly denounced the Social Democratic Party's anti-austerity plans as "irresponsible".

The other parties obtaining seats in the new 200-seat Finland's Parliament Eduskunta are the Swedish People's Party with 4.5 per cent of the votes and 9 seats and the Christian Democrats with 3.9 per cent of the votes and 5 seats.

Meanwhile, the Finns Party, which won 39 seats, had focused nearly entirely on an anti-immigration agenda under the leadership of hardline MEP Jussi Halla-aho, who also decried the "climate hysteria" of the other parties.

Finland's leftist Social Democrat party (SDP) leader Antti Rinne has declared victory in Sunday's general election.

In more than a century, this was the first time when no party has won by a clear margin - more than 20 per cent of the votes in favour.

"We want a more moderate and sensible climate policy that does not chase industries away from Finland to countries like China", Halla-aho said Sunday at a Helsinki polling station.

During the campaign, most parties expressed strong reservations about sharing a government platform with Halla-aho's party, while stopping short of ruling it out entirely. The populist Finns Party, however, is polling in second place with 16 percent support and has been gathering momentum among voters who find the climate change sacrifices proposed by other political parties too daunting.

Finland is boosting its nuclear energy production by launching a new plant next year and lawmakers last month voted to completely phase out burning coal by 2029.

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